HCM City targets removal of impediments to renovate old apartment buildings

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An old residential apartment in HCM City’s District 4. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ

HCM CITY — Municipal authorities are seeking the construction ministry’s approval to speed up replacement of old apartment buildings by removing shortcomings in compensation policies and investment-related procedures.

According to the HCM City People’s Committee, the renovation and rebuilding of old, rundown apartments in the city has been slow with their current occupants not reaching consensus on compensation and relocation.

Most people living in old apartment buildings are poor and earn a living in nearby areas, and moving them to the suburbs would rob them of their livelihoods.

It is not easy to uproot people from their old homes and relocate them elsewhere to start life from scratch.

Besides, there is still no clear policy or rules on awarding compensation for State-owned apartments.

The municipal People’s Committee has proposed that the Ministry of Construction issues a uniform policy for compensation, resettlement, and support for people living in the old apartments.

There is still no detailed regulation for investment in rebuilding old apartment buildings that are built on relatively small areas.

The City People’s Committee has also proposed using public investment capital for relocating people living in the old apartment buildings to resettlement complexes in other locations, converting the land use purpose of the old apartment buildings and organising auctions of their land use rights.

According to the Department of Construction, there are 474 old apartment buildings in the city, including 15 severely degraded blocks that threaten the lives and properties of their occupants.

Most of them are in danger of collapsing and several have no emergency exits or fire safety equipment.

Many old apartments that were built before 1975 are in a state of severe disrepair and in urgent need of replacement.

The city had targeted rebuilding 50 per cent of the decrepit apartments by 2020.

However, by last year, residents of just six old apartment buildings built before 1975 had been relocated. Four buildings have been dismantled but their reconstruction has not started.

Households living in five buildings are currently in the process of moving, while 11 others have selected investors for rebuilding.

This year, after long delays, the city aims to rebuild 14 old apartment buildings in districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and Tân Bình.

Three of the 14 are in District 1, two in districts 4 and 6, five in Tân Bình District and the rest in other districts.

By the end of the year, the city aims to accelerate construction of six housing projects with nearly 3,000 apartments – two approved and four under construction. — VNS

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